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Category: Lisa Fung

Ministry of Gossip switching to Facebook commenting system

Facebook comment system coming to the Ministry of Gossip Ministry of Gossip today is switching to a new commenting system.

The system requires commenters to sign in through their Facebook accounts. People without Facebook accounts will not be able to leave comments.

Readers will have the option of posting their Ministry of Gossip comments on their Facebook walls, but that's not required.

The change is part of an experiment on Ministry of Gossip and several other Times blogs. Readers are welcome to express their opinions about the news -- and about how the new Facebook comments system is working.

Jimmy Orr, The Times' managing editor in charge of latimes.com, discusses the Facebook system in greater depth here.

-- Lisa Fung and Martin Beck


Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt catch 'God of Carnage' opening

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt took in a night of theater Wednesday, attending the opening of "God of Carnage" at the Ahmanson Theatre.

Hollywood's hottest couple slipped in a back entrance, avoiding the paparazzi on the red carpet, professional autograph-seekers and throngs of mere mortals milling outside the downtown L.A. theater.

Seated in the center orchestra, Pitt and Jolie kept their eyes squarely focused on each other, seemingly oblivious to the double takes and spinning heads around them (even actress Frances Conroy was spotted sneaking a peek). Jolie and Pitt offered polite acknowledgments when Center Theatre Group artistic director Michael Ritchie and his wife, actress Kate Burton, took their seats next to the pair.

The couple were guests of James Gandolfini, who stars in "Carnage" along with Hope Davis, Jeff Daniels and Marcia Gay Harden. The comedy revolves around two couples meeting for the first time after their children get into a playground fight. Pitt kept a hand casually draped on Jolie's God-of-Carnage-gallery knee for much of the show, letting loose an especially hearty laugh when Gandolfini's character, Michael, uttered the line: "Children consume our lives and then destroy them." They joined in the standing ovation at the end, then were quickly ushered out of the theater to meet with cast members backstage.

Also in the audience were Will Ferrell (taking a night off from his new job in "The Office"), Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet from "Modern Family," Martin Sheen; Simon Helberg of "The Big Bang Theory," Aubrey Plaza of "Parks and Recreation," Troian Bellisario of "Pretty Little Liars," Andrea Bowen of "Desperate Housewives, and Sara Gilbert of "HawthoRNe." Others included Ron Livingston and wife Rosemarie DeWitt, Mira Furlan, Tony Shalhoub, Bradley WhitfordAnnie Potts and Jason Alexander. Click the pic above for more photos from opening night.

Spotted at the after-party at Chaya Downtown: Sandra Oh of "Grey's Anatomy,"  Anjelica Huston, Stacy Keach, Julian Sands, Jon Polito, Gina Gershon, Eric Idle, playwright and screenwriter Christopher Hampton and Camryn Manheim.

"God of Carnage" runs through May 29.

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-- Lisa Fung
Twitter.com/lfung

Photo: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt backstage at the Ahmanson Theatre after the opening of "God of Carnage." Credit: Ryan Miller / CaptureImaging

 


Jane Fonda’s on stage, but Colin Farrell and Cher serve as opening act

Jane Fonda and Cher

Colin Farrell
? Cher? At the theater?

Jane Fonda may have been the above-the-marquee draw at Wednesday’s opening night for “33 Variations” at the Ahmanson Theatre, but pre-curtain, all eyes were trained on the “In Bruges” star and, two rows up from him, Cher. In fact, the center orchestra section of the downtown L.A. theater was paparazzi heaven (minus the cameras, thank you).

Fonda-photo-gallery In the play, by Moises Kaufman, Fonda plays a musicologist researching the origins of Beethoven’s  “Diabelli Variations,” while grappling with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) and her shaky relationship with her daughter (played by Samantha Mathis). Heavy stuff.

So one would expect to see Fonda’s brother, Peter, and her son, Troy Garity, show up. But Chelsea Handler? And Anjelica Huston, Christian Slater, Rosanna Arquette, Carla Gugino, Penny Marshall, “True Blood’s” Carrie Preston and “Southland’s” Benjamin McKenzie? All there, within hug-and-kiss reach. (Click on the photo gallery to see who was there.)

Also taking in the show was writer-director Richard LaGravenese (seated with Cher), Tony Award winner Ben Vereen, “Smallville’s” John Glover, Tony winner Adriane Lenox, Michael Emerson (the creepy Ben from “Lost”), Corey Stoll of "Law & Order: Los Angeles," Joan Van Ark and Mary Hart.

Absent from the evening’s event was Lindsay Lohan, who starred with Fonda in 2007’s “Georgia Rule.”  The troubled actress had RSVPed for the performance, but apparently Lohan had other things on her mind Wednesday and wasn’t able to make it.

RELATED:

Billie Joe Armstrong, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried catch 'Next to Normal'

Matthew Morrison, Neil Patrick Harris, 'Modern Family' cast at 'Leap of Faith' opening

Jennifer Love Hewitt, Vanessa Williams, James Denton at 'West Side Story' opening night

-- Lisa Fung

Photo (top): Jane Fonda and Cher, after the show. Credit: Ryan Miller / Capture Imaging

Photo (bottom) Jane Fonda and Troy Garity. Credit: Ryan Miller / Capture Imaging


Golden Globes: Weinstein-Relativity Media party draws Nicole Kidman, Michael Douglas, Paris Hilton and everyone else in town

Golden Globes parties

Lured by the combined chutzpah of execs Harvey Weinstein and Ryan Kavanaugh, it seemed few Golden Globe Awards partiers could resist a stop at the Weinstein-Relativity Media after-party, held at the Beverly Hilton's Bar210.

Nicole Kidman was an early arrival, chatting for a while in a high-profile part of the room before grabbing husband Keith Urban's hand tightly and pulling him along behind her out a back exit around 10:30 p.m. Ryan Gosling first hung with friends outdoors, tie gone and collar unbuttoned, doing a few dance moves to a mix featuring the voice of Arnold Schwarzenegger and grooving to Bananarama's "Cruel Summer."

Paris Hilton at a Golden Globes party Quentin Tarantino made a bee-line to the first bar he spotted only to find the outdoor filling station offered only Moet & Chandon; the director then recalculated and zipped inside to start with a Red Bull and vodka. Nearby, Weinstein was spotted at one point on the hunt for an assistant-type. Once the tall young man was located, Harvey instructed him firmly but politely: "Rule No. 1: You never leave my side."

The massive effort counted two long rooms to party in, both decked out with generous club booths and stationary buffets and bars to keep A-listers satiated. The right side saw Ryan Seacrest pridefully escorting his main squeeze, Julianne Hough, among 50 Cent and Eva Longoria. Presenter Michael Douglas and wife Catherine Zeta-Jones chatted up Weinstein and Kavanaugh.

Speaking of Eva, the "Desperate Housewives" diva was in good spirits partying with a female friend and, we noted, one rather large security guard. The Hulk-sized escort didn't leave her side.

Matt Damon greeted friends and fans, including Bruce Willis, who made his way through the masses to share a hug and a few words with the "True Grit" star. Across the way was producer Brian Grazer and director Quentin Tarantino. Not far from them, Marc Anthony was the perfect escort for wife and presenter Jennifer Lopez.

Colin Firth graciously accepted congratulations for his best actor-drama win, then tried to catch his breath, with his wife at his side. A few feet away, "Blue Valentine" star Gosling was chatting up Kevin Bacon and wife Kyra Sedgwick, a nominee for "The Closer."

Equally attentive to family was "Thor" star Chris Hemsworth, who showed up on the late side, around 11 p.m. While his wife, Elsa Pataky, wasn't in sight, we heard the actor reassuring friends that his brother Liam was en route to the event.

Olivia Wilde and Ryan Gosling after the Golden Globe Awards "House" star Olivia Wilde looked regal in her flowing gown, standing near one of the bars as Gabourey Sidibe, last year's nominee for "Precious," passed by with plenty of sequins but at that point no shoes.

Before mingling and posing graciously with fan after fan after fan, Paris Hilton was perched on a sofa in the corner, far from the action. Attending with sister Nicky Hilton and beau Cy Waits, she was heard complaining about her seating: "It's insulting." Paris  seemed to perk up a bit later as she entered the party's photo booth and mugged for the camera -- including first popping into the pics of another couple already tucked behind the booth's curtain. The folks in the Red Cheese booth did not complain about the addition of her famous face to their sit-down.

Outside, "The King's Speech" director Tom Hooper listened attentively as "Dexter" nominee Julia Stiles told him about her upcoming gig on Broadway in Neil LaBute's "Fat Pig." Close by, "King's Speech" star Guy Pearce caught some air outside. Steve Buscemi, a winner for the HBO series "Boardwalk Empire," was surrounded by friends as he made his way into the party.

As the Beverly Hilton quieted, winner Claire Danes and husband Hugh Dancy high-tailed into the event, where a single Ryan Phillippe was for hours, alone, with producer-types in a booth.

Slipping into the party after 11 was actor Jon Voight, passing by KISS frontman Gene Simmons, with his sky-high tall son Nick and daughter Sophia, who appear with dad on the reality show "Gene Simmons: Family Jewels."

Click the pics for more photos from the Golden Globe Awards parties.

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— Matt Donnelly, Christie D'Zurilla and Lisa Fung

Photos, from top: Relativity Media honcho Ryan Kavanaugh, left, with Eva Longoria, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas at the Weinstein-Relativity bash at the Beverly Hilton on Sunday night; Paris Hilton, left, and sister Nicky Hilton; Olivia Wilde and Ryan Gosling. Credits: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images.


Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin bring some 'True Grit' to Beverly Hills

Jeff Bridges and Beau Bridges at True Grit screening

Jeff Bridges was nothing but smiles Thursday night at an industry screening of his new movie “True Grit” at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills. 

True Grit pictures The Oscar winner was surrounded by family members -- including wife Susan, daughter Hayley and actor brother Beau Bridges -- as he made his way to seats in the center of the theater, greeting well-wishers along the way.

In the remake of the 1969 classic western, Jeff Bridges plays Rooster Cogburn, a role originated by John Wayne for which he won his first –- and only –- Oscar. The story revolves around a 14-year-old girl who enlists the help of U.S. marshals to help track down the man who killed her father.

Josh Brolin, who plays the murderous Tom Chaney, sat a few rows behind Bridges with actress wife Diane Lane, while other cast members and crew -– teen standout Hailee Steinfeld, who plays central character Mattie Ross, veteran actor Barry Pepper and co-director Ethan Coen, and cinematographer and longtime Coen brothers collaborator Roger Deakins -- were also in the house.

Also spotted: “The Social Network” star Justin Timberlake; Kim Darby, who played Mattie in the 1969 film; Catherine O’Hara; Timothy Olyphant of "Justified"; and Anton Yelchin, who will be appearing in the Jodie Foster movie "The Beaver" alongside Mel Gibson. Click the pics above for more photos from the screening.

"True Grit" is scheduled to open Dec. 22.

RELATED:

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-- Lisa Fung

Top photo: Brothers Beau Bridges, left, and Jeff Bridges at a screening of the latter's remake of "True Grit" in Beverly Hills on Dec. 9, 2010. Credit: Angela Weiss / Getty Images

Left photo: "True Grit" stars Josh Brolin, left, Hailee Steinfeld and Jeff Bridges at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to see the film. Credit: Angela Weiss / Getty Images


Jennifer Love Hewitt, Vanessa Williams, James Denton at 'West Side Story' opening night

West-side-storyWhen it comes to musicals, few are as universally popular as "West Side Story." And that was evident Wednesday night at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood as celebrities from stage and screen flocked to opening night of the "Romeo & Juliet"-style love story set amid warring (and dancing) New York gangs.

Actress Jennifer Love Hewitt made her way down the red carpet -- click the pic below to see "The Ghost Whisperer" star and others -- as did "Desperate Housewives" costars James Denton, Mindy Sterling and Vanessa Williams, who was there with her daughter.

Fans and well-wishers practically mobbed "High School Musical" director Kenny Ortega inside the theater. He attended with Alex Ko, one of the young actor-dancers in the title role in Broadway's "Billy Elliot." Eric Stonestreet and Nolan Gould of "Modern Family" were also in the house, as were "Mad Men's" Robert Morse and Melora Hardin of "The Office."

WestSidegallery Not walking the red carpet but spotted by eager autograph seekers inside the theater were Russ Tamblyn and George Chakiris, who played Riff and Bernardo in the 1961 film version of "West Side Story." Yes, that's Amber Tamblyn's dad.

Others spotted at the event included Nia Vardalos, Kym Johnson of "Dancing With the Stars," Charlene Amoia of "How I Met Your Mother," Josh Sussman of "Glee," Tony Award-winning actor-singer John Lloyd Young and Ken Davitian, who came into pop consciousness in "Borat."

An after-party was held at Cafe Was in Hollywood. "West Side Story" runs through Jan. 2 at the Pantages.

RELATED:

Billie Joe Armstrong, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried catch 'Next to Normal'

Matthew Morrison, Neil Patrick Harris and 'Modern Family' cast at 'Leap of Faith' opening

-- Lisa Fung

Top photo: "Hannah Montana" alum Romi Dames, left, actress Tess Hunt, "Glee" guy Josh Sussman and actress Joell Posey at the "West Side Story" opening night after-party Wednesday in Hollywood. Credit: Angela Weiss / Getty Images

Bottom photo: Vanessa Williams and her daughter attend the opening night of "West Side Story" at the Pantages Theatre on Dec. 1, 2010 in Hollywood. Credit: Angela Weiss / Getty Images



Billie Joe Armstrong, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried catch 'Next to Normal'

Tom Kitt and Billie Joe Armstrong You'll have to excuse audience members at the Ahmanson Theatre on Sunday night for doing a double-take at the guests in seats K19 and 20. After all, the musical "Next to Normal," about a clinically depressed, bipolar woman (played by Tony Award-winner Alice Ripley) and her family, is probably the last place people would expect to see the lead vocalist for the rock band Green Day.

But sure enough, there was Billie Joe Armstrong, sans mascara, with his wife, Adrienne, in the center orchestra section for opening night of the Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical.

The connection? "Next to Normal" composer and co-orchestrator Tom Kitt also served as music supervisor for Green Day's Broadway musical "American Idiot."

A few rows up from Armstrong sat the always-dapper Pierce Brosnan and wife Keely Shaye Smith, seeing the musical for the first time. His "Mamma Mia!" costar Amanda Seyfried also was in attendance.

Next-to-Normal-gallery Sarah Silverman greeted Camryn Manheim with a big hug as she made her way to her seat a few minutes before the lights went down. “Glee” was represented by Jenna Ushkowitz, Darren Criss and the guys who play the Dalton Academy Warblers. And "Modern Family's" Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who is lobbying to host the Tony Awards, and fellow castmate Sarah Hyland took in the show.

Also spotted were Jena Malone, Adam Brody, “Chuck” regular Vik Sahay, Chad Lowe, David St. Louis, Peter MacNicol, Broadway star Adam Pascal, screenwriter Diablo Cody, Tracie Thoms, Charlayne Woodard, Alec Mapa, Ken Page and Lorene Scafaria, as well as members of the "Next to Normal" creative team, director Michael Greif, Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (book and lyrics).

"Next to Normal" runs through Jan. 2 at the Ahmanson Theatre in downtown L.A.

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-- Lisa Fung

Top photo: "Next to Normal" composer Tom Kitt, left, with Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day. Credit: Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging


Hollywood toasts the new Resnick Pavilion at LACMA's 'Unmasking' gala

Tom Hanks Rita Wilson Lacma Resnick Pavilion

Saturday's Los Angeles County Museum of Art gala was one of the biggest nights to see and be seen on this year's social calendar, so naturally the gold and silver masks the museum handed out to guests at the entrance languished in their hands and on cocktail tables.

Resnick-pavilion-lacma LACMA had dubbed the evening "The Unmasking" because it celebrated the opening of the lavish $45-million Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion, named for the major donors and owners of Fiji Water and Pom Wonderful. And as the city's elite parted a sea of costumed performers from the John Burroughs High School, wearing 18th century European garb, to pour into the pavilion for cocktails, it was obvious that their fellow guests were nearly as compelling as the art and costume collections in adjoining rooms.

"You're divine," Barbara Davis -- widow of Marvin Davis, a former owner of 20th Century Fox -- cooed to Joan Collins after posing for pictures with her grandson, Brandon. "You're magnificent."

The younger set was represented, as well. Kim Kardashian (with mom Kris Jenner), Nicole Richie and Nicky Hilton mingled and greeted friends in the main gallery.  Fresh from a screening of his new film "Howl" in New York was actor James Franco. "House's" Olivia Wilde posed for paparazzi on the red carpet after arriving fashionably late -- but just in time for dinner and a performance by Christina Aguilera.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson entered the Resnick Pavilion deep in conversation with Garry Marshall and his daughter, while "The Hurt Locker" director, Kathryn Bigelow, and her date studied pictures on a phone outside on the terrace. Carole Bayer Sager, surrounded by friends in the gallery, later received a shout-out from the Canadian Tenors, who performed one of her songs during the dinner. 

Continue reading »

In New York, Tony Awards' red carpet looks a lot like Hollywood

Scarlett-Johansson-on-the-rRain couldn't deter the good cheer on the red carpet Sunday in New York, as Broadway celebrated its biggest night, the Tony Awards.

The night was perhaps a bit more glam than in previous years, as Hollywood seemed to move East for the evening. Radiant in green, Scarlett Johansson, nominated for "A View From the Bridge," waved to the crowd, gathered outside Radio City Music Hall.  Her costar and fellow nominee Liev Schreiber arrived with  Naomi Watts. Catherine Zeta-Jones, nominated for "A Little Night Music," was glowing in a powder blue gown.

Hamming it up on the carpet was Green Day -- Mike Dirnt, Billie Joe Armstrong and Tre Cool -- whose Tony-Awards-Gallery show "American Idiot" is up for best musical. Among the others making the trek included Daniel Radcliffe,who appeared in "Equus" on Broadway in 2008; Antonio Banderas, star of  "Nine" in 2003, and wife Melanie Griffith, who appeared "Chicago" that same year; and Bebe Newirth, a star of "The Addams Family" musical.

And, of course, the nominees of the evening were looking their best as they headed into the hall: Laura Linney, up for "Time Stands Still"; Christopher Walken, star of  "A Behanding in Spokane";  grand dame of theater Angela Lansbury, nominated for "A Little Night Music"; Kelsey Grammer, honored for "La Cage aux Folles"; and the evening's host and "Promises, Promises" nominee Sean Hayes

"Glee" was well represented, with star Lea Michelle, who appeared on Broadway in 2006 in "Spring Awakening," prepared to sing "Don't Rain on My Parade"; Matthew Morrison, who will sing "All I Need is a Girl"; Vocal Adrenaline's Jonathan Groff, another "Spring Awakening" alum, who says he'll next be appearing in "Mousetrap" in London; and Idina Menzel, Tony winner for "Wicked" who was seen recently on "Glee" arrived sans husband Taye Diggs.

-- Lisa Fung

Photo: Scarlett Johansson attends the 64th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 13 in New York City. Credit: Bryan Bedder / Getty Images. 

Click and scroll down for more red carpet coverage, or more on Scarlett Johansson. Want the headlines? Follow the Ministry of Gossip on Twitter (we're @LATcelebs) or swing by our Facebook page and 'like' us right into your news feed.



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